New Zealand Colonisation

The Colonisation of New Zealand

By Jessica and Brittany

Impacts of Colonisation on the Maori
One plague, known as Te Rewharewha (coughing death), killed hundreds in a matter of weeks. Many old villages were abandoned, the dead left unburied for fear of contagion. These sites remain tapu (restricted) and some, such as at Weriweri, are still used as cemeteries.

The Treaty of Waitangi
Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand's founding document. It takes its name from the place in the Bay of Islands where it was first signed, on 6th February 1840. It is an agreement entered nto by represenatives of the British Crown and the Maori iwi and hapu.
Over 40 chiefs signed the Maori copy of the treaty on 6th February 1840. Copies were then taken all around the country, and many chiefs from the other clans signed the Maori-language copy of the treaty.
Crime, violence and general lack of laws was extensive, James Busby, could do little to control it. Foreign authorities, particularly the French, were also taking an interest in NewZealand. The British government appointed Captain William Hobson as representive and provided him with instructions to nagotiate for the control of the New Zealand and for the setting up of a British colony. Maori leaders and people have stressed the Treaty's importance ever since. In recent history, successive governments have recognised the significance of the Treaty in the life of the nation.

In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by Maori chiefs and the British Crown to try and keep the peace. Not all of the Maori chiefs were enthusiastic about the teaty, however in the 1840's and the 1850's the white settlers started to arrive in large number and by 1858 they outnumbered the Maoris. There were clashes between the settlers and the Maori. It became more evrdent that the Maori were benefitting from the immigration because they got crops like wheat, potato's and apples grew quite well. IN 1858 the Maori elected a Maori King to try and establish a type of orderen government. Two years later the Maori Wars begun after the Governor of New Zealnd tried to take over the fertile region of Waitara. The New Zealand Government the decided that they wanted to punish the Maori and started to take over their tribes. There was almost three and a quarte acres taken and it was good dertile land, good for growing crops. Partly to allay criticism in Britain, the government introduced the Maori Representation Bill of 1867. According to the terms of this bill the Maori were able to elect four Maori members of Parliament. In 1928, as a result of much agitation from Maoris, a Royal Commission was established with the purpose of investigating Maori grievances regarding the confiscated territory. The Commission, led by the Prime Minister, Gordon Cates, found in favour of the Maori stating that they had been forced to in self-defence and the Maori War had been "an unjust and unholy war."

What the Treaty said
The Treaty said that:

· Māori would have taonga (everything important to them) for as long as they wished and rangatiratanga (total control) over all their land.
· If Māori wanted to sell land they must sell it to the Governor, who would then sell it to settlers.
· The Queen would make sure that there would be law and order for all people in the country. She would make sure that Māori rangatiratanga and property would be protected. The Governor was the Queen's representative in Aotearoa (Maori name for New Zealand)

Differences between the Māori and English Versions
There were two versions of the Treaty. One was in Māori, the other was written in English.
William Hobson signed for Queen Victoria, the Queen of England. He signed the English and Māori versions.
Māori signed the Māori version.
In the English version of the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori give sovereignty to the British Queen, meaning total control and everything. So, in the English version, Māori gave the British total control of the country.
The Māori word 'rangatiratanga' is similar to 'sovereignty'.
The Māori version of the Treaty did not say that Māori would give 'rangatiratanga' to the British.
Māori signed the Māori version, not the English version.
The Māori version of the Treaty says that Māori give 'kawanatanga' to the British. This word in English means 'governance'. The Māori who agreed to sign did so because they wanted the British to govern, which means to make laws about behaviour. Many people today believe that most Māori would not have signed the Treaty if the Māori version had used 'rangatiratanga' for 'sovereignty'.
The Treaty promises that Māori would keep their rangatiratanga (total contol) over their lands and everything else. The Māori who signed did so because this meant iwi would keep control over their land and everything else important to them.


How the Maoris are treated today
Today, about 530'000 Maoris live in New Zealand. Because of the high numbers of mixed marriages between Maoris and white people, there live very few Maori of pure Maori descent now.
Nowadays, the Maoris are included in political, economic and social institutions, for example the New Zealand Maori Council, the Maori Women’s Welfare League and the Maori Education Foundation.
Both Māori men and women play key roles in all aspects of the various professions today.

Problems of the Maori
The Maoris have very high alcohol and drug related problems. Different initiatives are trying to help them and lead them on to a better way of life
Despite significant social and economic advances during the 20th century, Māori tend to appear in the lower percentiles in most health and education statistics and in labour-force participation, and feature disproportionately highly in criminal and imprisonment statistics. Like many indigenous cultures, Māori suffer both institutional and direct racism. For example, in December 2006, vandals sprayed racist graffiti on ancient Māori rock-art at the Raincliff Historic Reserve in South Canterbury.
Māori also have considerably lower life-expectancies compared to New Zealanders of European ancestry: Māori males 69.0 years vs. non-Māori males 77.2 years, Māori females 73.2 yrs vs. non-Māori females 81.9 years. Also, a recent study by the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse showed that Māori women and children are more likely to experience domestic violence than any other ethnic group.

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"The colonisation of New Zealand - New Zealand in History." New Zealand in History. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2010. <>.
"What the Treaty says." Immigration New Zealand . N.Treaty_2.jpgp., n.d. Web. 17 May 2010.
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